You don’t need to be Ned Stark to know winter is coming. Don’t lose your head; plan for cold weather calamities.
Although the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting a drier and warmer-than-average winter for the southeast, we can still expect some cold snaps and storms.
Know the Terms
It’s a good idea to review the National Weather Service’s full listing of winter weather terms, but there are a few you should definitely know:
- A winter storm watch is issued when significant winter weather is possible, but not imminent. Typically issued 12 to 48 hours before the possibility of winter weather.
- A winter weather advisory is issued when winter weather is imminent. Typically issued up to 36 hours before an event.
- A winter storm warning is issued when a significant winter storm is imminent and is a dangerous threat to life and property. Typically issued 12 to 24 hours before an event.
If you lost power for several days, would you be okay? While some summer storm advice also applies in winter, loss of power might make it harder to stay at home during a winter storm. If you know your home won’t hold heat for long without power, make sure to plan for alternate accommodations: staying with a friend or relative, or budgeting emergency funds for a hotel stay.
A fireplace can be a great alternative, but make sure yours is in working order ahead of time. Don’t rely on a fireplace that has not been used in several years unless you have recently had it examined by a professional.
Review general safety tips for all forms of home heating.
It’s a good idea to keep a ready kit in your car year-round, but make sure it includes winter-specific items such as blankets (or extra warm clothes) and sand (or cat litter) to use for emergency traction.
And if you haven’t already done so, winterize your car.
With a winter weather plan in place, the last item on your to-do list should be keeping your spirits up. Think about how you might spend a few low-tech (or no-tech) hours. Maybe this is the day you tell stories in front of the fireplace or teach the kids to catch snowflakes on their tongues.
Get Weather Alerts | Ready Georgia
Winter Weather Checklists | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Winter Weather Forecast Terminology | National Weather Service